Meth (methamphetamine) is a drug that you only need to take once before risking an addiction.
It’s a highly addictive stimulant that produces a rush of dopamine that is not easy to obtain otherwise. Your brain cannot produce that much dopamine at once — after you use meth just one time, you can never achieve that rush again without it. This leads to cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and ultimately a methamphetamine addiction.
For this exact reason, millions of people suffer from a crystal meth addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, seek professional assistance immediately. It can be difficult to make that first step of asking for help, but you ensure that your future will look a lot brighter as you enter recovery.
The long-term effects of meth are extremely detrimental and cause both physical, mental, and social issues as you continue to use. Early intervention through inpatient and outpatient services can get you on the right path.
What Is Meth?
Meth, or methamphetamine, is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that sends waves of dopamine to your brain. It was once prescribed throughout the United States to help with weight loss and as a decongestant, but in the 1970s, it was labeled a schedule II controlled substance.
Now, only one form of methamphetamine is prescribed in pharmacies today, and it helps treat severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obesity.
The two most common forms of methamphetamines misused today are crystal meth and meth. Though chemically, they are made up of the same thing, they look different and are ingested slightly differently.
Crystal meth is a clear or light blue color coarse crystal that is typically used by smoking it. Meth is a powder that is usually white (sometimes pink, yellow, or brown) and used by smoking, snorting, or injecting the drug. Sometimes meth is cut with other drugs, which can make it even more dangerous.
What Does Meth Addiction Look Like?
Meth addiction can look like a lot of things to different people. No two people will have the same exact story, but you might find through therapy and meetings that many people share similar struggles. If you suspect that someone you love is struggling with meth abuse, it’s important to talk to them and encourage them to seek help.
If someone is using meth, they might become distant and stand-offish. They might become easily irritated or seem a bit paranoid about their surroundings. Someone who is using might sweat a lot more than usual and have dilated eyes. All of these are potential indicators of meth use.
What Are the Long Term Effects of Meth Addiction?
Meth addiction is not easy to overcome. Once you use the drug once, you could become trapped in the neverending cycle of finding your next dopamine rush through drug use. Short-term side effects of meth addiction include nausea and vomiting, dry mouth, dizziness, abnormal heart rate, high blood pressure, and tremors.
These short-term effects usually last for days at a time because a person might use meth for many days before giving it a break. It can be difficult to stop using once you start because you don’t want the high to disappear. Unfortunately, this leads to long-term effects that can be detrimental to your life.
On Your Brain
As soon as you begin using meth or crystal meth, your brain starts to change and morph to fit the feelings of the high. Continuous use further damages the brain and can trigger health-related issues. It negatively impacts the microglia, which supports brain health and protects the brain against infectious agents.
People who use meth for a long time might experience issues with concentrating and memory, daily functioning, and impulse control. Some people even experience paranoia and detachment that can put them into psychosis.
There are lasting effects on the brain, and these will stick around as long as you continue to use. Your brain can better repair itself when you aren’t using meth.
On Your Body
Not only does meth mess with your brain, but it also has negative impacts on your physical health long into the future. Many people who use meth experience a loss of appetite, which can lead to extreme weight loss. Skin sores and scabs can form on a person’s skin, easily attracting infections and bacteria when not treated properly.
People who use meth, especially those who smoke it, also experience severe dental issues. You might experience your teeth decaying, falling out, or developing gum disease. Over time, with meth use, you also risk organ failure.
On Your Relationships
When you use meth, you put intense stress on your personal and interpersonal relationships. You might struggle with yourself and your mental health — experiencing severe depression, anxiety, and mood swings. You might take less care of yourself, not participate in proper hygiene, or sleep poorly.
You might also withdraw from the people you love because the addiction is becoming shameful and out of control. If you find that you or a loved one are prioritizing a drug over the people that care, it’s time to seek out professional help.
Get Help With Soba Recovery
Meth addiction is a tough illness to suffer from. It takes a lot to seek out help, but getting treatment can help ensure that you are once again able to truly enjoy your life. There is so much more out there than a drug, and while it’s up to you to choose to seek those things out, we at Soba Recovery Centers are here to support you through your recovery.
Everyone deserves a chance at happiness, and you are no different! Meth addiction recovery requires a specific treatment plan catered to your needs. There are three treatment options that Soba Recovery Centers can help you with.
The first step to meth addiction recovery is undergoing a detoxification program. At Soba, we can help you undergo the detox stage to complete it safely. Detoxification means withdrawal, and your body will reject the idea of not using more meth. Our 24/7, around-the-clock staff is there to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible. At Soba, you are in good hands.
Once you complete the detoxification process, you will be feeling all sorts of things, both mentally and physically. By staying in a residential inpatient program, you have access to trained therapists that can help you unpack your addiction and other issues.
Being surrounded by people who are there to watch you succeed can be instrumental in your recovery process. You’ll attend individual therapy and group therapy — where you’ll meet others who share many of the same struggles. You’ll find the kind of community you never thought possible!
Once you’ve stayed inpatient, you aren’t just left alone to navigate the world outside. With outpatient services, you still attend group meetings and therapy sessions to work on your sobriety and recovery.
Holding yourself accountable and having a place to go where you can be safe will help you throughout your recovery. Your recovery is all about your individual treatment plan, and we can help you with that.
So what are you waiting for? Call a representative today and learn more about how Soba can help you or your loved one choose a life of happiness, health, and recovery from meth addiction.
Methamphetamine DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse | NIDA
Know the Risks of Meth | SAMHSA
What are the long-term effects of methamphetamine misuse? | National Institute on Drug Abuse | NIDA